Monday, February 11, 2013

A Kneed to Know Basis

I've always smirked a little when I snarkily said "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it" to people. Of course, it's funnier when it's them and not me!

For the last two+ months, I'll admit I've been a pain to He-who-trains. I've pestered him to death about running and walking and doing hills. I've made sure he remembers while losing weight and shrinking is nice, my goal is to run.  To finally be strong enough to just go.  Some part of it has been joking-- just to be a pain, but there has been some real questioning behind it too.

As long as I've been working with He-who-trains, all I've been allowed to do was weights, kicking, and the recumbant bike.  I've not been near a treadmill.  Until tonight.   Tonight, after seeing we've been seeing some progress with my knee, he let me get on a treadmill for short bursts.  Of course, neither he nor the hills here in our town play around.  So he set it at level 15 (and at 3.5 mph)--and I quickly repented. (And prayed I wouldn't fall off the back-- really, coordination is not the Pudgy Parson's thing-- as evidenced by the gianormous knot on my head from a cleaning accident.)  I about swore then and there that I'd never ask him about running again.

But after a few rotations, my knee showed its true colors again-- which I think both of us knew it would.  And so I'm back to icing-- which I've been lucky enough to do less of lately.  I think I stopped quickly enough that it won't be too sore tomorrow.  What it tells me though is that I am making progress. Two months ago, I 1)would've been stupid enough to try to play through the pain or 2) been nearly to tears after a minute or two.  Ok, so I'm not "there" yet. And I'm ok with that. I'm in this for the long haul, not for a few minutes of instant gratification.

However, I've had a couple of conversations that have been nagging at me lately. One conversation was with a church member who used to run marathons.  He was talking about ruining his knees. I asked him if, knowing what he knows now, if he still would've run like he did. Without even stopping to think, he said "Absolutely not.  I'm the only one of that group of people I used to run with who hasn't had a knee replacement."  The other conversation was with a man who works out at the gym--who is always on the bike next to mine (with the resistance cranked WAY up, I might add.  He makes me tired just to watch him.) Come to find out, he's working the bike that hard because he messed up his knees running.  And while I get the impression he'd really like to get back to running, it's at least giving me pause to see another runner sidelined with a knee injury.  He-who-trains has made no secret of how he feels about distance runners-- and while he is one of the smartest folks I know, I also thought perhaps he was a little biased-- especially having never been a distance runner. (Umm... when I asked him if he was going to come to the half marathon I was planning on running, he said "Sure.  Someone has to be at the finish line collecting money for your new knees.") But I'm beginning to wonder how much I want this.  I mean it's always been a dream of mine. Do I want this so much that I'm willing to take a chance on really ruining my knees?  Can I ever really train enough and be strong enough and smart enough that I'm guaranteed not to do that kind of damage?  I don't know.

I know that I miss being outside.  I miss the solo time of brain drain. I can get the endorphin release other ways, but being in the gym doesn't feed my soul like running did. But maybe once I'm stronger, walking would feed that. Maybe I could be a cyclist. At least then, my huge and bulky legs would be justifiable.

At least the cat likes the knee icing.  Also, there is Robin Hood: Men in Tights on TV to make me laugh.  It's almost worth it.